The Hagel saga continues, and like expected, Republicans are not happy with President Obama’s pick for Secretary of Defense. Democrats on the other hand, are okay with President Obama’s nominee according to a recent count and they will vote to approve Chuck Hagel for the cabinet position in the President’s administration.
Hagel, whose nomination has drawn fire from his fellow Republicans, is scheduled to appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday for his hearing. Though the session with the panel is expected to be testy, Hagel will likely clear that hurdle before facing a 60-vote threshold in the full Senate. But even Republican aides are quietly conceding he is likely to get the three-fifths majority he needs to prevent a filibuster.
“We did whip it. And the numbers were very positive on the Democratic side,” Durbin said of a preliminary vote count his office did last week of the Senate Democratic Conference’s 55 members.
“I didn’t whip the Republican side so I can’t say,” Durbin continued when asked whether he thought he could pick off at least five Republican votes to get to 60. “I need to do it again this week, but as of last week, we were doing very, very well among Democrats. There were no ‘no’ votes. There were some who wanted to wait until after his testimony.”